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Lebanon School District teacher facing charges after officials found him in possession of handgun in school

LEBANON COUNTY, Pa.– A teacher in the Lebanon School District is facing charges after school officials found a handgun in his backpack at Lebanon Middle School.

Chad Thomas, 41, is facing a possession of a weapon on school property charge after a member of the custodial staff found the handgun in his backpack he was cleaning the school, which is located on the 300 block of N. 8th Street on April 12.

Thomas said that he forgot the firearm was in the bag.

There is no information leading police to believe faculty or students were in danger or being targeted by Thomas.

The school district released a statement about the incident on Thursday.

The statement reads:

Last Thursday, on April 12, 2018, a gun was found on our middle school property after school
hours when our custodial team cleaned the building. This weapon belonged to a teacher, who
mistakenly brought it on school property and had it stored within a protective case. Once found,
proper protocols were followed and it was immediately reported to local authorities for
investigation.

We were fully cooperative with local authorities to maintain the integrity of the investigation,
which meant we have been unable to comment on the investigation. Now that charges have been
filed, the District will continue to cooperate with the process if and when called upon.

Most importantly, it should be known that at no time were staff or students in harm’s way. The
safety of our staff and students is of paramount importance to us. We will continue to monitor
our schools to ensure we have the safest environments to educate our students.

We do not condone this teachers’ behavior, and we will continue to work with local authorities,
comply with State reporting requirements, and the teacher will remain removed from all District
buildings indefinitely until the District has a better understanding of how legal proceedings may
conclude.